Asbestos micarta was used for years in many applications throughout the typical home. The most common applications were as electrical insulation and as laminates for industrial purposes. It was a choice material because of its heat resistance and effective insulating qualities. However, this was before the serious health effects of exposure to asbestos were known. Today, you’d be hard pressed to find brand new products that contain asbestos.
However, asbestos can still be found in homes all across the nation. This is due to a lack of updates being made on homes, and a general lack of knowledge about the presence of asbestos in one’s home. But before you go running off to see if you have asbestos in your home, consider some of the major health hazards of exposure.
Asbestos is made of up microscopic fibers. When these fibers are inhaled or ingested, they can lodge in the body for years and cause inflammation. Over time, asbestosis could develop, which is characterized by lung inflammation, difficulty breathing and potentially, heart failure.
Several types of cancer have also been known to result from asbestos exposure. Lung cancer, stomach cancer and colorectal cancer are just a few of the possibilities. However, mesothelioma is probably the most thought-of cancer in conjunction with asbestos. This is because its only known cause is asbestos exposure. Mesothelioma affects the membranes surrounding the lungs, heart and abdomen. It can take years to produce symptoms, so that by the time symptoms are present, treatment options are fairly grim.
Those working around asbestos are at much greater risk for developing these health conditions. This goes for the both the industrial worker and the person doing an at-home project.
If you find that there is asbestos micarta in your home, don’t attempt to remove it on your own. If the material is damaged in the process, those fibers will be sent flying, right into the path of your lungs. It is best to call in professionals for removing asbestos because they will have the proper gear and methods for removing it safely. And a lot of the time, you don’t even have to remove asbestos. If it is in good condition, it is probably best left alone.